Just hours after Dick's announced it would end sales of all assault rifles and no longer sell any guns to people under 21, moments ago Walmart - or Warmart, as Bloomberg briefly dubbed it in a rather amusing Freudian slip moments ago...
... joined the bandwagon announcing late on Wednesday that "in light of recent events" America's largest retailer is "raising the age restriction for purchase of firearms and ammunition to 21 years of age."
Of course, Walmart could not fully replicate Dick's "taking a stand", because it had already stopped selling assault-style rifles back in 2015 due to sluggish demand for guns rather than politics according to the company.
"It was done purely based on customer demand," Kory Lundberg, a Walmart spokesman, told The New York Times in August 2015. The rifles, he said, were not "something customers were looking for and buying when they came into our stores."
That however did not stop the angry public to demand that Walmart, which remains the country's largest gun seller, to follow suit.
"Walmart — PLEASE match the pledge made by Dick's Sporting goods for the sake of our children," a Facebook user wrote on Wednesday.
But just to appease the public in a clear attempt at PR crisis management, Walmart said that it was also "removing items from our website resembling assault-style rifles, including nonlethal airsoft guns and toys."
Nonetheless, Walmart still sells rifles and hand guns: "Our heritage as a company has always been in serving sportsmen and hunters, and we will continue to do so in a responsible way."
Full statement below:
In light of recent events, we’ve taken an opportunity to review our policy on firearm sales. Going forward, we are raising the age restriction for purchase of firearms and ammunition to 21 years of age. We will update our processes as quickly as possible to implement this change.
In 2015, Walmart ended sales of modern sporting rifles, including the AR-15. We also do not sell handguns, except in Alaska where we feel we should continue to offer them to our customers. Additionally, we do not sell bump stocks, high-capacity magazines and similar accessories. We have a process to monitor our eCommerce marketplace and ensure our policies are applied.
We take seriously our obligation to be a responsible seller of firearms and go beyond Federal law by requiring customers to pass a background check before purchasing any firearm. The law would allow the sale of a firearm if no response to a background check request has been received within three business days, but our policy prohibits the sale until an approval is given.
We are also removing items from our website resembling assault-style rifles, including nonlethal airsoft guns and toys. Our heritage as a company has always been in serving sportsmen and hunters, and we will continue to do so in a responsible way.